With Wander Franco having recently hit his first home run and some other MLB milestones approaching, we reached out to Jordan Field, the Detroit Tigers’ Director of Authentics, for some insight and clarification on baseballs that are hit into the stands. While there are certainly other ways of authenticating (video, ticket stubs, affidavits from nearby fans or other methods), having the MLB blessing is a big deal.
Field told us generally the only way for a fan to have any chance of owning a ball they’ve caught carry MLB authentication is if it’s been marked ahead of time. Here’s the full answer via email:
“Normally, a baseball that gets hit into the stands (home run, foul, etc.) cannot be authenticated. The MLB policy is that if an item leaves the line of sight of the authenticator it can no longer be authenticated. That said, for a truly significant career milestone (ex: career home run 500, career hit 3,000) Major League Baseball makes arrangements to covertly mark the baseballs that are pitched to the player approaching the milestone. That way, for example, if home run ball 500 is hit into the stands, a Major League Baseball authenticator has the ability to identify and authenticate the milestone baseball with 100% certainty. In terms of the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera’s career milestones, our plan is to utilize the MLB covert marking system so that if a significant milestone baseball (ex: career home run 500, career hit 3,000) leaves the line of sight of the authenticator and is later presented by a fan, it may be authenticated with 100% certainly.”
Any player on the precipice of a milestone homer or 3,000th hit is always on MLB’s radar and those specially marked balls have been utilized for several years now, which is a win-win for collectors, teams and the game itself.
The auction for the Thomas Newman Collection continues with multiple cards expected to bring more than $1 million. Bidding for the Pop 1 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth is already on the verge of $2 million and expected to go much higher.
Spectrum News 1 in Southern California offered this story about the collection on a recent newscast.
One of the hobby’s best 1965 Topps baseball sets is going to be broken up and sold through random spots.
Each of the 578 cards is graded PSA 8 with no qualifiers (the Steve Carlton rookie is a 9). Vintage Breaks is offering spots at $150.
Josh Rawitch has been named President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, effective Sept 9. Rawitch has spent 27 seasons working in baseball, including the last decade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as Senior Vice President of Content and Communications for the past six years.
Rawitch becomes the eighth president in the 82-year history of the organization, following Stephen C. Clark, Sr., founder of the Hall of Fame and grandfather of current Chairman, Jane Forbes Clark, Paul Kerr, Edward W. Stack, Donald C. Marr Jr., Dale A. Petroskey, Jeff Idelson and Tim Mead, who in April announced he was stepping down from the role.
“I am truly honored to join the team at the Hall of Fame, a revered institution that is fundamental to the preservation of the history of our game and its legends. Cooperstown is a special place and every baseball fan who has set foot in the village knows how powerful that experience can be, while those who haven’t visited undoubtedly have it on their bucket list. My family is looking forward to being a part of the community for many years to come.”
Did you know there have been a bunch of different Josh Gibson cards issued this year–all licensed by the late Negro Leagues star’s foundation?
Artists have been creating the cards as part of a “tournament” with the winner determined in part by votes from collectors and fans.